Manchin Discusses Topics of Interest At Business Summit | Times West Virginian
MORGANTOWN – U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin stopped in at the Bridges Without Boundaries business summit Tuesday to address speakers’ points of interest from the point of view of a Senator.
For him, having a space full of West Virginia leaders together to discuss the state’s future itself is an imperative part of shaping the state for the years to come.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to basically look at the successes we’ve had and the challenges we still have,” Manchin said. “If I’ve done my due diligence I’m looking to find out what challenges you might have and why might I not want to come."
“We want to make sure there is a thought process, a systematic approach of fixing and also taking advantage of."
As a Senator and leader of the state, Manchin often meets with groups that have needs or want assistance to accomplish their goals or projects.He said events like Bridges Without Boundaries help to get everyone on the same page of what needs to be prioritized in the state for the most efficient way of production.
“When a group comes together, they basically prioritize their needs,” Manchin said. “Any time you can prioritize that makes it so much easier for all of us to be on the same page. That’s what they’re doing here. That’s what Morgantown has done by this new partnership they put together, that’s excellent."
Manchin also addressed some of the morning discussion topics including medicine and health throughout the state as well as cannabis and its legality. The influence of each on one another can directly impact some of the treatment and medicinal options available in West Virginia, based on where the drug goes in the future.
“The state has legalized medical marijuana, medical cannabis use which is good,” Manchin said. “If you’re going to go ahead and legalize it, don’t you think you should develop it? Build the rules and regulations, tell us how we get into the business?"
“You have commercial hemp which is a tremendous opportunity for us to commercialize manufacturing opportunities,” he added. “We’re commercially producing a product that’s able to build from clothing, manufacturing, you name it we can do it. And they should be developing that.”
Competition with the neighboring states and areas is also important to Manchin, who recognizes the efforts of leaders at the summit as on par with that of other states.
“The only thing new in this world is a pair of eyes,” Manchin said. “If we’re doing something good in West Virginia and we’re doing it as good if not better than most parts of the country and definitely parts of the state, shouldn’t we share that with other parts of the state?”
Manchin commented that the north-central region of West Virginia has been consistently successful in the development, and emphasized the importance of communication and gathering events like these to aid the state as a whole to move forward.
“North-central West Virginia, these four counties have tremendous stories to be told,” Manchin said. “It’s the most successful place in our state and the eastern panhandle."
“So we should be selling that and applauding that, but also helping the rest of the state.”
By: Eddie Trizzino
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